This is what Christmas looks like in our family. And from our family to yours, Merry Christmas.
We wish for you, that everyone in your family survives this pandemic and is with you for your holiday celebrations next year. And if it is already too late for that, I hope the coming year brings you peace.
This year was unusual for us, as it was for so many. For the first time in my life, I was not able to see my brother for the holiday season. I also was not able to see my daughter. We are staying separate so everyone stays healthy. Doing our part to stop the corona spread. We did see my mother in law as she is like us and stays home nearly all the time.
I anticipate that next Christmas we will all be together again for the holidays. And what a joyous celebration it will be.
The Christmas spirit has arrived at our house. It began to snow late this morning. It was a calm, light fluffy snow. The kind that invokes thoughts of good cheer and peace.
So I got out our little tree and decorated it. All of our animals love the tree, but especially the cats. They take up residence underneath and you can find one or the other of them there for the season. After a few squirts of Bitter Apple chew deterrent, they stop chewing it for the rest of the season.
After lunch, I made a couple batches of cookies we traditionally have around the holidays. First, I baked the thumbprint cookies and filled them.
Then I made molasses crinkles from a recipe handed down from my mother’s Aunt Clara. Mine are never as good as Aunt Clara’s but they are delicious nonetheless. I suspect Aunt Clara used lard in her’s.
Now I am ready to relax for the evening with a couple of cookies and a good book.
I didn’t seem to be doing very well at performing caring acts during this holiday season. I wasn’t sure if I didn’t remember the acts after I did them or if there just weren’t many acts of thoughtfulness. So I decided to keep a list. This turned out to be a very good idea because now I am looking for ways to be kind and show thoughtfulness so I can put it on my list. Maybe not the best motivation but acts become habits and this is a good thing.
First on my list was writing a note to a coworker on my special puffin notepad that I save for special occasions. I told her what a good job she always does of preparing some reports that I need to proofread every month. Her good job makes my life easier.
Second on the list is taking in a family member’s cat for “two weeks” while they make accommodations for a change in living circumstances. I suspect this kitty will be here more than two weeks. Infact I suspect he will never leave. I’m ok with that. Our cat population is down. By the way, I am taking him to be neutered on Monday.
Also on the list, writing some personal heartfelt notes in Christmas cards. A number of people have shown me a great amount of compassion this year. Especially at the time of my Mother’s death. I have some pretty impressive friends and family.
This morning I made a call that I have been wanting to make to the local newspaper. They have a column called Sound Off where you can make comments that are published. I thanked our township folks for having the display of Christmas lights lit up when I drive by to go to work at 5 o’clock every morning. It always gives me a smile to start the day.
And no list of kind acts would be complete without my favorite, the therapy dog visits that Nikki, Shelby, and I make to our friends at the nursing home. I’m not sure it’s fair to count this as a kind act though because I get as much out of it as the friends that I visit.
So my goal for the rest of the holiday season is to continue doing kind acts to add to my list. May your list be long and equally as fulfilling. Merry Christmas, my friends.
I call this our Charlie Brown Hemlock. We just transplanted it this year so it is still small. It reminds me of the scraggly tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas. That tree is little and scrawny and pathetic but everyone loves it.
Why do we all love this little tree? Perhaps because it represents the underdog and we can relate. The tree gets decked out in lots of finery and we don’t feel a connection with it anymore. I think many of us at times feel like the underdog so we can relate to this tree. We want people to accept us for who we are without getting all gussied up.
I like that children’s cartoons teach us lessons of acceptance. If we can learn this when we’re young, the world just may be a kinder place.
My favorite Christmas cartoon is Rudolph. It also tries to teach us acceptance, of those who are different. If the folks of Christmas Town had been kinder, then Rudolph and Hermie wouldn’t have run away. Luckily they were two forgiving souls and helped the town’s folk when they needed it. I have always loved Rudolph and the message it sends. It became dear to me the year it aired on my birthday and I have watched it every year since. That’s quite a few viewings! My niece and I even watched it together one July. She was nuts like me. Or maybe just tolerant. Or perhaps she had already learned to be kind to those who are different. Anyway, it is a very fond memory.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings, and may you have a very Merry Christmas!
Ok, it’s December 1, I think it’s safe to say the “C” word. The Christmas season is here. One of the things I do every year over this season is to get the above two books out and put some of the suggestions in them into action. They are full of good deeds and thoughts to do for, or share, with others. Be a bit of a Christmas angel if you will. Some of the items are physical acts, such as take Christmas cookies to your neighbors. Others have more to do with thoughts and how you treat people.
Sometimes I flip one of the books open at random and do what the suggestion says. Other times I look through the choices until I find one that strikes my fancy. I don’t manage to perform one of these acts every day but I figure, some is better than none. Just my little contribution to try to make the world a better place.
Readers, if any of you perform any thoughtful acts over this Christmas season, I would love to hear about them. Inspiration from others will feed the kindness and maybe we can have a Caring Revolution! Just post them in the comment section below. I challenge you to try it!
And for today, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is below. It’s free and you can do it wherever you are. At first glance I thought it was an easy one, but then again maybe it’s not. Let your journey of spreading joy begin!
This figure was a gift from my friend Tina. I keep it out all year because it represents so many things to me. It reminds me of the dogs I rescue. And the gift that these dogs are. And I, of course, think of the friend who gave it to me when I see it. Tina has since left this world but her gifts have not. Her gift of friendship and the thoughtful attention she showed in giving are still with me.
So although this is a Christmas gift and it brings to mind the gifts of hope, and peace, and love, I find it to be appropriate throughout the year. It is a reminder that I should try to exhibit these traits and be a better person. These are ideas that I want to keep close to me the whole year long.